Leadership in Action | Teen Ink

Leadership in Action

June 18, 2011
By KatieCurran SILVER, Pocasset, Massachusetts
KatieCurran SILVER, Pocasset, Massachusetts
9 articles 8 photos 0 comments

There are many events I’ve covered and people that I’ve interviewed that have displayed leadership traits. There is a true difference between adult reporters and kid reporters. They cover different topics-or at least shouldn’t they? Well, my kid reporting is upbeat and specifically focuses on the interest of kids. What interests and questions might they have? That’s what I’m here for-to answer your questions! Being a kid myself, I like to investigate the world around me. That is why in this special edition of my reporting, I tell about “Leadership in Action”. I’ve been touring the east coast of the United States, ready to report on leaders and unique experiences I’ve covered. On my unique assignments, I’ve visited: Sarasota Florida, Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston. Boy do I have interesting news for you! It’s hot of the presses and very intriguing.
My first stop on my tour is Sarasota, Florida. Here I interviewed former State Representative Keith Fitzgerald at his campaign headquarters! He is a political science professor at the New College of Florida and has written a book on political science. When I read about Keith Fitzgerald, I could tell what a leader he is and all the great knowledge he had to share. I had written to many politicians about interviewing them, but Mr. Fitzgerald was the only one who replied, willing to spend his Friday afternoon talking with me! I truly appreciate the time he spent to explain politics to me and for all the kids I reported back to.
At one point, he was the democratic leader of the Florida House. He has been very involved in politics. I know that he must get questioned on the same topics frequently. That is why I was interested in asking him things different and that kids would be interested in. That is why one of my questions to him was: What was it like to write your book: “Face the Nation: Immigration, the State, and the National Identity”? I know that any kid interested in writing would love to hear his take on writing his own book.
I asked him what the experience was like. He answered, “Well Katie, that’s a great question. I’m a college professor and when you earn a PhD you have to research and write a very detailed book called a dissertation. It’s not a book written for everyone-only experts in a specific field. After a few years had past since I wrote it, I felt that there needed to be a book on the topic that I wrote my dissertation on. The topic I wrote about was immigration. When you write a book, it’s slightly different than a dissertation because you have to write it for a broader audience. About 10 years of work was put into writing my book.” He smiled. “And what is interesting is that when I was writing it, I had no idea that I would eventually run for office as a State Rep. When I originally wrote my book, immigration policy was not under the limelight and not a main focus. When I ran for office, the topic that I wrote my book on was a subject everyone was interested in. My book does not advocate a certain political position. It explains how certain topics came to be. I enjoyed working very hard on my book.” It was great interviewing him. Along with this, I asked him many other questions. Mr. Fitzgerald is great person to talk with. He truly knows politics!
My next stop on my report is Washington D.C. I was lucky enough to get a full fledge tour of the city through my nomination to the Junior National Young Leader’s Conference. Here, I visited the White House, the Capitol Building, and much more. It was such a learning experience and because of it, I was a guest speaker at a politics camp called Camp USA. Now, you must be very curious of what I covered. I covered a good portion of the city. A certain experience I had was fabulous! I went to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia! It was a key location during the Civil War. I lived the life of a Civil War soldier and lead a group of other soldier students. We walked around the historic town and fulfilled duties as if in the 1800’s. It was really interesting to be a soldier and go on missions. I couldn’t believe we held mock battles where actual battles occurred. It’s amazing what the men and women of that time had to go through. Harper’s Ferry opened my eyes to leadership in the past. I especially remember marching in a line keeping a beat. We even wore soldier’s uniforms. It was a changing experience that was so real and made me realize people’s sacrifices. Harper’s Ferry is a great place to learn about leadership in American history!
My next stop is New York City. When I arrived at the Big Apple, I was amazed at all the people! An event that I covered there was the construction of the September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero. In a place of hustle and bustle, the ground stood silent. In all that happens in our daily lives, the victims are never forgotten. The workers that were inside and the rescue crews are true leaders. As you look towards New York from the Statue of Liberty, there is an empty blue sky in the middle of the skyscrapers. In just one day, it was gone-lives, the buildings, and a feeling of safety. As I walked in Battery Park, I observed the tarnished globe that once appeared in the World Trade Center. The eternal light glowed a hope for tomorrow. Although I was 3 when this happened, I was alive. Even if I report almost 10 years later, it’s still as haunting. It’s important for Americans to know their past and view their history. I’ll never forget watching the cranes constructing on the ground that was once full of life 10 years ago. It makes me realize how much life should be appreciated. The innocent leaders won’t be forgotten. I’m sure every time people walk by it seems as real as on that tragic day. Even through tragedies there is hope, hope to rebuild and remember our leaders.
The last stop on my trip is Boston, Massachusetts. Here in my home state, I covered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I attended a democratic fundraiser to re-elect Congressman Barney Frank. I got to meet Congressman Frank and even got his autograph! I recommend any time you can meet your elected officials, then go for it! It’s an experience like no other. I was lucky enough to interview many officials. For example, I interviewed State Representative James Fagan. I asked him what makes our community special. He said “It’s our history of the Revolutionary War. Wherever you live, enjoy its unique history!”
I really enjoyed talked with all the officials, but I have to admit, I was ecstatic when I heard Bill Clinton would be speaking at it! I listened to every word of his speech-it was well worth it! I had waited in line for 5 hours to be 12th out of thousands. Man, did I learn a lot from him. He encouraged me when he told us that you are never too young to be involved in your community. It was a pleasure listening to him. I put what I learned into community service. I then became president of our school’s honor society! The pictures I took were incredible. I even won 2nd place for the Massachusetts’s PTA Reflection’s program for a picture I took of him. This was a special event I will never forget. I learned many lessons, met great people, and spent time with my mom.
Did you enjoy your busy time with me touring the East Coast? I bet you learned a lot! I sure did. I gained knowledge from all the leaders in action. I could go on for days about my experiences, but remember I have to keep this in an article! I’d love the opportunity to report on more stories. As the Cape Cod Times wrote about me, “I’d be willing to bet this won’t be the last time you hear about Katie.” Oh, it won’t be! It’s such a moving experience to see “Leadership in Action”! Thank you for coming on such a trip with me! You’ll be sure to hear more inspiring reports from me real soon!

The author's comments:
I love the world around me-especially when I see leaders in action. In all the interviews that I've done and all the events I've covered, I created a special edition of my reporting. Here I explain of my tour of the United State's East Coast and report on some of the best leadership out there!

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